Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Week 48

Alright, let's face it - Jet lag and a return-to-work-after-vacation schedule aren't ging to allow me time to write up last week's events. I'll try my hardest to post between shifts on Monday.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Week 47

Work this week was sorted up a bit with two days of classes in a new building at one of my regular schools. The new space itself is not only clean and bright but the change of scenery also brings fresh outlook to the way I teach (especially my long-term students who I see every week.)

My Friday high-school students continue to no show up for class. I do my best not to take it personally as these kids have a history of being shut-ins and for that reason especially I hope, each wee, that they come back to class.

After work Friday, Saturday, and Sunday this week I played online games with some friends, one of whom is moving back to Canada soon. I suppose, as these games are online, we could still play after he moves but even the Internet age hasn't been able to totally wipe out time (zone) differences.

Saturday, on the way home from work, I stopped at the theater downtown to get one of the last remaining tickets for the opening-day showing of the animated feature: Evangelion 3.0: You can (not) redo. This is the third in a tetrarch of films (the first two of which I saw on opening day in Japan as well.) One of the latest shows I've seen in Japan, the movie started at 11:10p.m.. I was a bit tired the next dy but it was totally worth it. These films use cutting-edge digital animation techniques to provide two hours of eye-candy consistently mixed with an fantastic soundtrack.

Looking forward I've got to start packing for my (short) trip back to the States on Wednesday. Before then I have yet another kindergarten class to teach tomorrow morning (Tuesday the 20th). Once that shift is over I'll have a full week off work and five awesome days back in the 'ole hometown to spend with family. I'm really looking forward to this week.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Week 46

Last Tuesday I lounged around most of the morning before going out mid-day to buy some things for the evening's festivities. As usual I rode my bike down to my friend's house in the South of Osaka. We played games all afternoon but stopped around five o'clock to make preparations for dinner. A little later on a few more friends came over and we all enjoyed an early mini-Thanksgiving feast. The highlight of the meal was a juicy turkey (from Costco) but also featured hand made mashed potatoes and stuffing as well as pumpkin pie for dessert. In the true Thanksgiving spirit everyone sat around in food-comas watching TV afterwords.

Wednesday (the 7th) I slept in for the first time in a while. I think the cooler weather makes my bed that much more inviting to my unconscious mind. I hit up my favorite burrito place for lunch and did some shopping in the afternoon. In the evening some friends came over for pizza and games.

Thursday I slept in again and almost missed a chat secession I had planned with a friend back home. Work wasn't too bad. The school I work at on Thursdays and Saturdays was about to move (last Sunday the 11th) so I helped get things organized for that.

The previous few Fridays trend of my students not showing up continued this week. The game of the week with the other students was Monopoly which was a blast from the past. As my allergies were acting up all day I stopped for more allergy medicine and a 4-pack of tissues on the way home. After the allergy medicine kicked in I was too lazy to make dinner and ordered pizza for the second time that week.

Saturday was also a fairly easy work day and also involved final preparations for the school's impending move (across a plaza, right next to the station.) A fiend called and wanted to go out for dinner in the evening and we ended up playing online games most of the night.

Sunday's Web school shift was particularly busy, as has been the norm lately. I stopped at the eyeglass shop on the way home to get my new glasses adjusted (they were a little off and making my eyes tired.)

Monday I had to get up early yet again to do another Kindergarten class. After getting take-out for lunch I came home and crashed out for a few hours before going to work in the evening.

Yesterday (Tuesday the 13th) I slept in again and messed around the house in the morning before heading South for my weekly gaming session (sadly, with less turkey this time.)

This morning my apartment was cool enough that I didn't want to get out of bed. When I did manage to rouse myself I got dressed and went out shopping. I spent most of the day downtown riding my bike around. I came home in the afternoon to do laundry and write this post. My Wednesday night gaming friends will be over soon.

I get to see the new school for the first time tomorrow which is exciting. I hope this work week goes by fast as next week I'll be headed back to the States for a real Thanksgiving with my family.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Week 45

It certainly helps my will to write when I don't have to get up at 7am on a Monday morning, travel 50 minutes, and dance in front of 30~60 kindergarten students. I suppose it also helps knowing this this will be one of the shortest posts ever.

As expected yesterday (Sunday) was a fairly normal day at work. I stopped for curry on the way home and proceeded to relax in front of my TV all evening.

Sadly today is not a "Happy Monday" (Japanese-English term for a three day weekend) but I think I can find the energy to do one more 6-hour shift this evening before my "weekend" starts.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Week 44

It seems that my kindergarten shifts on Mondays really mess with my writing schedule and I just can't seem to find time elsewhere in the week to write. Hmmm...

Anyways, last Wednesday (Oct. 24) the I hung around the house most of the day. I tried to have lunch at my favorite burrito place but they were closed for a much needed vacation (it's a family run place) so I hit up Burger King instead. In the evening I tried a new online game with some friends, though try as I might I just couldn't figure it out.

Thursday morning I headed to a place out in the boonies of North Osaka called Murano to help with a Halloween party for another alternative high-school (associated with the one I teach at on Fridays.) I put on my "Vash the Stampede" cos-play costume and the kids really liked it. The students (around 10 kids) made lunch for everyone and a good time was had by all. Luckily the high-school was in the neck of the woods I teach at on Thursdays anyways so it was easy to get to work in the afternoon. Unfortunately I had a cough and runny nose all through work but managed, somehow, to be my usual peppy self. I skipped that week's grocery shopping and went home and collapsed into bed.

Friday's usual high-school shift went by quickly as my usual students didn't show up again and I played games with the other kids all day. After work I went into the shopping arcade near work and ordered a new pair of glasses. In the evening a friend from Tokyo came into town so a few of the locals got together for drinks at the local watering hole.

Saturday's (Oct. 27) shift at work went much better than expected. It varies from class to class but the Halloween special event lesson can be a bit stressful on the teachers. Fortunately everything went well an all the kids had a good time. After work I tried the new online game with my friends again. I did a little better this time but still found it a challenge. Instead of joining the usual Halloween shenanigans in town this year I stayed home and watched a movie instead.

Last Sunday was fairly easy from start to finish. I had a few breaks at work. I bought a new plastic model on the way home. Watched a thunder storm roll in from my balcony. Made dinner for myself. Watched Ghostbusters and then went to bed.

Monday I had my second and final kindergarten Halloween lesson in the morning. Again the kids really liked my costume and had a good time. I stopped for lunch at a take out place and had a nice long nap before my eve ing shift started.

Tuesday I had to get up at an unreasonable hour (for a "day off" anyways) to go into my company HQ for training. After 3 hours of learning about things that won't take effect for another 5 months I stopped at home to change before heading down to my friend's house for our weekly video game session.

Luckily I could sleep in a bit on Wednesday (Oct. 31). Late in the morning I went to pick up my new glasses and get some lunch. Next, I stopped mt Krispy Kreme to get a dozen Halloween theme doughnuts to take to my high-school's Halloween party. I used my Luigi costume this time and it was a big hit. The highlight of the party was carving real, North American, orange mini-pumpkins. The students were remarkably good at making some amazing faces. In the evening the usual set of friends came over to my place to hang out.

Thursday I did one last day of Halloween lessons at work. In the evening I came home and shaved to participate in a "Mowvember" event/beard growing competition.

This past Friday was almost the same as the previous one at work. My students didn't show so I got to hang out with the other students all day. this was the first day I wore my new glasses most of the day and as usual they took some getting used to. I stopped at my favorite barber shop on the may home and hot my hair trimmed back to match my new bald face.

Today (Saturday, October 3rd) was Culture Day here in Japan so I had the day off. This is the first Saturday I didn't have to work in a vary long time. I lounged around the house all morning before heading out mid-day. I hadn't been to the Tennoji zoo in a while so I decided to take my camera and head down there today. It was pretty busy but not too crowded. After stopping at a home-center on the way home I spent the next few hour cleaning my apartment. I stopped and made dinner before writing this post which is the last thing on a long to-do list I had written for today.

Back to work tomorrow and Monday (Monday's blog post will no-doubt be a bit short.) Next Tuesday I'm going to have a mini-Thanksgiving with my video-game-playing friends in addition to our usual gaming session, which should be fun. Aside from that I'm looking forward to traveling back to the States for an all-too-short trip for actual Thanksgiving later in the month.